The OneDollarGlasses are manufactured on bending and milling machines specially designed for this purpose. The spectacle frames consist of a lightweight and flexible frame made of extremely robust, rustproof and hypoallergenic spring steel wire (1 mm). The frames are manufactured by hand on a bending device which does not need a power supply. Different physiognomies can be taken into account individually when bending the frame. The elliptical polished, unbreakable lenses are given the notches and steps for fastening in the spectacle frames on the milling attachment and can be inserted in no time. This milling machine can be operated via a decentralized power supply thanks to the low power consumption (generator or solar station). Heat-shrinkable sleeves made of hypoallergenic plastic on the ear piece ends increase the wearing comfort of the glasses. Because the glasses have very little weight, they do not require nosebridges. Two coloured glass pearls give each pair of glasses its own personal design.
Figures from the WHO show that around 150 million people in the world suffer from defective eyesight which could be rectified with a simple seeing aid. Many of these people live on a very small budget which prevents them from buying a conventional pair of glasses. This has serious consequences for them: Their poor vision prohibits people from working or pursuing vocational training – the loss to national income worldwide that occurs due to this issue, is estimated to be around 120 billion dollars per year.
Until now, people in developing and emerging countries have mainly helped themselves by recycling old glasses – but they are difficult to recondition and adjust. Additionally, there is often a lack of local knowledge and technical equipment. Another economic alternative could be glasses from China. However, these have not reached a sufficient distribution so far, because costs are still too high (due to shipping in regions off the major trade routes) and appropriate distribution structures are missing.
Publicly available: yes
Countries where available: Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Uganda
Price range (USD): 1 to 20 USD
Offered or can be licensed for local manufacture: Yes